Dia 2 en Bonito Mindo!
Written on July 29, 2017
After such an exciting and thrill-seeking day yesterday, many of us were still tired, so we decided to take it easy the next morning.
|Francisco showing us the eggs|
only a few minutes away from our hostel so it was an easy walk to get there. As we entered, we were welcomed by Francisco, the owner of the Mariposario, who also gave us a tour. We started the tour by looking at the life cycle of the butterflies. Here, Francisco showed us butterfly eggs that belonged to different species. He told us that every morning he goes to check the leaves of the plants and flowers to collect the eggs. He then went on to show us what comes after the eggs, which were some huge caterpillars. He told us that depending on their species, caterpillars can range from very tiny ones to larger ones. After the caterpillar stage, he showed us the stage before the caterpillar fully forms into its cocoon. We were able touch and carry them. Below you can see a picture of Riley, one of the few students brave enough to hold the caterpillar in her hand. This worm-like stage (Larvae) of a butterfly was very slimy and it moved very slowly. After this stage, the cocoon is fully formed and the waiting game begins. This is also where most of the change happens. The process in which a caterpillar turns into a butterfly is called metamorphosis. This process can take up to 2 weeks, a month, or even more depending on the different butterfly species. After showing us each stage, he asked if anyone was afraid of butterflies or bugs; some of us were, but because we wanted to go in and see the beautiful butterflies, we couldn’t let our fear get in the way.
|Riley holding a larvae!|
As soon as we walked into the new room, we were all struck with awe! The room was full of flying butterflies of all colors. There were blue ones, brown ones, and even some whose wings looked like owl eyes. There were really small ones and really big ones. There were different species of butterflies, from monarchs to owl butterflies to Greta (butterflies with transparent wings). After our butterfly tour, we were also able to see the beautiful orchids as well as the Colibris (Hummingbirds). We watched the colibris fly around trees and drink nectar from their feeders. Did you know that the Colibri flaps it's wings up to 50 times per second! Crazy, right? I was curious to see how their wings looked like in a slow motion video, so I decided to use this setting on my phone. Even with the slow motion setting, the colibri's wings were flapping at such a fast pace! (side note: I tried uploading the video but sadly it wasn't playing, so I had to delete it 😢). At the place where we were watching the Colibris, there were also hammocks! Attracted by the idea of a comfortable hammock-nap, many of us decided to rest up and relax for a bit before our next activity.
|Taking a break after |
the butterfly tour in the hammocks!
They were so comfortable!
Some of us were still excited and ready to take on more on what Mindo offered, so a couple of us went Horseback riding while the other half went Canopying.
|Horseback Riding was a success!|
|Selfie while horseback riding? Melissa is too cool!|
|Riding off to nowhere!|
I decided to join the group that was going Horseback Riding and I loved the whole experience! Most of us had either never ridden a horse before, or we had only ridden once, so we were all pretty much beginners for this activity. Guiding our horses was so easy that we had little to no trouble as we were riding. We rode for about an hour, and as we rode throughout the trail we were able to see much more of nature. Tall trees, beautiful flowers, and long grass surrounded us on all sides.
While we were horseback riding, three of our other friends decided to take on canopying once again!
They were able to zipline through ten different courses of different lengths and heights! They loved it!
|Riley, Kayla and Angel excited for Canopying|
|One of the ten courses they went on!|
After another long day at Mindo, we were ready to go back home to Quito and rest up. After buying our tickets, and having good lunch we were more than ready to be back. Once we were all set, we thanked the lady of the hostel, Acuario de Mindo, for her wonderful service and we made our way to the station to catch the bus for our trip back to Quito.
I can definitely say this experience is one for the books!